On May 20th, Sub Pop will release the debut album from Weird Nightmare, the electrifying new project from METZ guitarist and singer Alex Edkins.
Weird Nightmare showcases a new side of Edkins’ already-established songwriting, with a raw, sugary blast of distorted pop. The new album exhibits all of his main band’s bite with an unexpected, yet totally satisfying, sweetness. Imagine The Amps covering Big Star, or the gloriously hissy miniature epics of classic-era Guided by Voices combined with the bombast of Copper Blue-era Sugar—just tons of red-line distortion cut with the type of tunecraft that thrills the moment it hits your ears.
On the first single, “Searching For You”, Edkins shares, “it’s a fun, no nonsense rock ‘n’ roll song. It’s about searching for meaning and inspiration all around us. In my mind, the ‘you’ in the chorus refers to something bigger than companionship or love, it’s that intangible thing we all look for but never find. ” Directed by Ryan Thompson and animated by Jordan “Dr. Cool” Minkoff, it’s time to step into a world of ultimate weirdness, and get served a hot slice of rock and roll video deliciousness in the new video for “Searching for You.”
Weird Nightmare has announced a handful of North American shows including a hometown album release show on May 21st in Toronto, ON at The Baby G. The band will also hit the road on a 7-date co-headlining tour with labelmates Kiwi Jr. See below for a full list of shows.
Sat. May 21st - Toronto, ON - Baby G (Toronto Record Release Show)
Fri. Jun. 17th - Detroit, MI - Third Man Records *
Sat. Jun. 18th - Chicago, IL - Schubas *
Thu. Jul. 28th - Brooklyn, NY - Baby’s Alright *
Fri. Jul. 29th - Rehoboth Beach, DE - Dogfish Head Brewery *
Sat. Jul. 30th - Washington, DC - Songbyrd *
Sun. Jul. 31st - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s *
*w/ Kiwi Jr
Weird Nightmare is now available for preorder/presave on CD/LP/Cassette/DSPs from Sub Pop. The LP is packaged in a special embossed jacket with semi-transparent obi-strip along the spine, and pre-orders from megamart.sub pop.com, select independent retailers in North America, and in the UK, and in Europe will receive the Loser Edition of the album on Transparent Cotton Candy Swirl vinyl and Clear Coke Bottle vinyl, respectively. (See below mock-up.)
If you’re looking for a raw, sugary blast of distorted garage rock, look no further than Weird Nightmare. The debut album from METZ guitarist and vocalist Alex Edkins contains all of his main band’s bite with an unexpected, yet totally satisfying, sweetness. Imagine The Amps covering Big Star, or the gloriously hissy miniature epics of classic-era Guided by Voices combined with the bombast of Copper Blue- era Sugar—just tons of red-line distortion cut with the type of tunecraft that thrills the moment it hits your ears.
These ten songs showcase a new side of Edkins’ already-established songwriting, but even though the bulk of Weird Nightmare was recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic some of its tunes date back to 2013 in demo form. “Hooks and melody have always been a big part of my writing, but they really became the main focus this time” he explains. “It was about doing what felt natural.”
To be clear: Weird Nightmare is not a “pandemic album,” but an album—some of which had been gestating for quite a while—that just so happened to be recorded during the pandemic. “I had always planned on finishing these songs, but being unable to tour with METZ, and forced to lock down, really gave me a push.” After days spent homeschooling his son, Edkins would drive to the METZ rehearsal room and tinker deep into the night on these songs’ deceptively simple structures and rich, static-laden textures. “It was a godsend for me,” he states about the creative process. “The hours would disappear and I would get lost in the music and record. It was a beautiful escape.”
Weird Nightmare is, in its own way, a study in extremes: Edkins’ melodic instincts and penchant for dissonance are both turned up to the max throughout, the latter reflecting not only the barn-burning tendencies of METZ, but Alex’s own sonic predilections. “It doesn’t sound right to my ears until it’s pushed over the edge.” He also cites other artists who are masterful at mixing the sublime and the punishing—Kim Deal and Scout Niblett among them—as influences on his own songwriting. “My favorite songs are the simple ones,” he explains. “I’ve never been attracted to virtuosity or technicality. Certain songs have the power to lift your spirits like nothing else can. I wanted to create that type of song.”
“I’ve found a new confidence in my writing and producing,” Edkins continues while discussing his songwriting approach on Weird Nightmare. “I really enjoy creating and recording, and I wanted this record to reflect how much fun I was having.” And even though its songs occasionally dip into weighty themes—underneath the driving riffs of “Darkroom” are ruminations on trying to fight off bad habits amidst personal malaise, while the anthemic “Lusitania” is, in his words, “a fictional love song”—this album is indeed an absolute blast to listen to.
A few guests pitch in on Weird Nightmare: Canadian alt-pop genius Chad VanGaalen adds his unmistakable touch to the ever-escalating “Oh No,” while Alicia Bognanno of Bully lends her distinctive pipes to the thrashing “Wrecked,” a collaboration that effectively saved the song. “I almost didn’t put it on the album because I thought it was missing something,” Edkins explains. “I sent it to Alicia and she lifted it way up.”
And taking risks and reaching out of Edkins’ comfort zone was the name of the game when it came to making Weird Nightmare. “I found myself doing new things I didn’t have the guts to do before, recording everything by myself and trusting all of my musical instincts,” he states. “I think when music manifests quickly, a certain amount of honesty automatically comes along with it. When it is a purely instinctual creation, there is no opportunity to obscure the truth.”
Today, Feb 25th, 89, the debut record from Charlie Gabriel, the senior member of the legendary New Orleans Jazz ensemble, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band is available on DSPs. The album will be released physically on CD/LP/CS July 1st, 2022 worldwide from Sub Pop.
Charlie’s first professional gig dates to 1943, sitting in for his father in New Orleans’ Eureka Brass Band. As a teenager living in Detroit, Charlie played with Lionel Hampton, whose band just then also included a young Charles Mingus, later spending nine years with a group led by Cab Calloway drummer, J.C. Heard. While he’s also fronted a bebop quintet, played and/or toured with Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennet, Aretha Franklin and many more, this is the first time his name appears on the front of a record, as a bandleader.
Since 2006, he’s been a member of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and has developed a tight musical relationship with the group’s bassist and tuba player, Ben Jaffe. The two men, along with guitarist Joshua Starkman, recorded Charlie’s new album 89 throughout 2020 and 2021.
As previously announced on Sunday, January 30th legendary New Orleans Jazz venue, Preservation Hall was the subject of a CBS Sunday Morning segment, which was taped in December 2021 with Ted Koppel and features interviews with the Hall’s creative director and sousaphonist, Ben Jaffe and Charlie Gabriel. You can watch this segment by clicking here.
You can now watch Low’s new video for “All Night,” directed by Azalia Snail, who describes the video with: ”The sunburst gives hope to the apocalyptic dystopian nature of our current pandemic world.” The song is from HEY WHAT, their Grammy-nominated and massively acclaimed album from 2021.
Low’s previously announced international headlining dates in support of HEY WHAT begin March 22nd, 2022. For a full list of shows click here.
HEY WHAT saw placement on many “Best Albums of 2021” lists and readers polls including:
Recommended Listen (#1) Slate (#1) Treble Zine (#1) Blow Up (#1) Vulture (#2) What’s Good (#2) Northern Transmissions #2 Our Culture (#2) The Skinny (#3) MOJO (#4) Uncut (#4) The Wire (#4) Pitchfork (#5) Slant (#5) Flood (#6) The New Yorker: Amanda Petrusich (#8) New York Times: Lindsey Zoladz (#8) Gold Flake Paint (#11) PASTE (#12) AV Club (#13) Rolling Stone (#16) EXCLAIM! (#18) Loud and Quiet (#20) NPRMusic (#21) The Guardian (#31) Gorilla vs. Bear (#39) Louder Than War (#50) The Quietus (#98)
HEY WHAT also saw placement on Pitchfork’s “Best Rock Albums of 2021” and Rough Trade’s “100 Albums of 2021” lists. And “Days Like These,” the album’s lead single, earned placement on “Best Songs of 2021” lists from Pitchfork (#3) and PASTE (#20).
Low HEY WHAT
Tracklisting: 1. White Horses 2. I Can Wait 3. All Night 4. Disappearing 5. Hey 6. Days Like These 7. There’s a Comma After Still 8. Don’t Walk Away 9. More 10. The Price You Pay (It Must Be Wearing Off)
Sub Pop is currently accepting resumes from energetic, responsible, detail-oriented, and dependable candidates for a part-time/weekend/evening Sales Clerk position at our terribly impressive store at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. This guy.
• Greeting and assisting customers in a friendly manner. • Full compliance with Sea-Tac operation rules and strict TSA regulations and restrictions. • Efficient handling of cash and credit card transactions. • Ability to work collaboratively and communicate effectively. • Availability to work nights, weekends, and holidays. • Assisting in organizing and restocking the store. • Maintaining the general appearance of the store. • Contributing to the team retail effort by accomplishing related tasks as needed.
Qualified candidates will have:
• Previous experience in the retail environment. • Knowledge of the Sub Pop catalog, Pacific Northwest music, the Seattle music community, and the City of Seattle. • A friendly and enthusiastic disposition with customers and staff. • Strong and clear communication skills. • A general understanding of retail Point of Sale systems. • Flexibility in schedule and willingness to work early or late hours.
The Sub Pop Airport Store at Sea-Tac is open from 7am-7pm, 365 days a year.
On Saturday, February 12th, 2022, Washed Out and his band, closed out their headlining tour with a sold-out show at The Eastern, the recently opened 2,300-cap venue in his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. The tour was in support of Purple Noon, his acclaimed album of 2020.
Ernest Greene teamed up with Nashville-based designer Jonny Kingsbury (Clairo, Khruangbin, Charlie XCX) to develop the tour’s visually arresting lighting and stage production design, with the intent to film the performance for fans outside the US. The Purple Noon: Live at The Eastern live stream event is co-presented by Mandolin/NoonChorus, and will air Sunday, March 13th, 2022 in North America (at 8:00 PM EDT), in the UK and Europe (at 8:00 PM GMT), and in Australia, New Zealand, and Japan (at 8:00 PM AEDT). Tickets for the performances are $13 USD, and available here.
Greene says of the event: “Happy to announce a worldwide livestream event which is likely to be one of the final chances for people to see the “Purple Noon’ live show. I’m really proud of this show and want to share it with the world but know because of Covid complications it will likely never be performed again.
“We were lucky enough to have a film crew capture the last show of our recently completed US tour, in my hometown of Atlanta which was really special for me. I’ve spent more time and effort on this ‘Purple Noon’ show than on any other tour combined. The audio and visuals is without a doubt the best realization of the WO experience and I can’t wait to share it with all who would like to be a part of it.”
On the heels of the single releases of “30 Degrees,” and her cover of the classic Brazilian song “Berimbau”, comes the latest single, “Every Morning” from London-based artist Naima Bock.
Naima spent her early childhood in Sao Paulo, Brazil with her Greek/English mother and Brazilian father. She was exposed to a diverse range of music from an early age. Artists like Baden Powell, Chico Buarque, Geraldo Vandre, Cartola were constantly playing in her house, and on long drives, she and her family would take to the beach. Naima and her family moved to South London when she was seven. As a teenager, Naima began attending shows, mostly at the Windmill Brixton. At the tender age of 15, she and a group of friends decided to start making music which would eventually turn into her first band Goat Girl. After six years of touring the world and playing bass in the band, Naima felt like it was the right time to leave, mostly due to a desire for a change in musical direction.
“Every Morning” was written by Naima, with production and arrangements with long-time collaborator Joel Burton. Naima met Burton (of the band Viewfinder, which she was a fan of) three years ago and, needing someone to play with, began booking shows as a duo. In recording, Naima leads with the structure, chords, and melody for a song whilst Joel oversees key parts including piano, string, and horn arrangements.
Naima says of “Every Morning”: I wrote this song whilst traveling, it was initially a stupid song about having some horrible eye infection and the chorus line was ‘itchy itchy eyes’. Then someone told me the melody was nice so I (naturally) reached into the barrel of neurosis and scooped out a gewey bunch of regret and nostalgia which resulted in the lyrics of ‘Every morning’. Since then, the only thing I’ve learnt is that people are the same. I’ve tried to stop lying but the white one slips out occasionally, I’ve tried to stop this too. Leaving people is also difficult, this song points to a very specific period in my life which consisted of tearing away from friends that I loved. It is not a song about romance, it is a song about the ending of friendships and how that can be just as much, if not more, painful. Producer Joel Burton wrote the beautiful outro melody in which we wanted to convey a sense of being at sea, alone but content.
Naima will tour extensively in 2022 beginning with an 11-date solo run through the UK and EU opening for Dana Gavanski (February 22nd-March 10th; select dates). She’s also scheduled international festival appearances at SXSW Music Festival (US), DIY Alive (UK) and End of the Road Festival (UK). She will also headline a show at London’s The Lexington on May 23rd. Naima will have additional live performances announced soon. See below for a current list of shows.
Sun. Feb.22 - Brighton, UK - The Hope & Ruin* Mon. Feb. 28 - Nottingham, UK - Metronome* Tue. Mar. 01 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club* Wed. Mar. 02 - Bristol, UK - Exchange* Thur. Mar. 03 - Manchester, UK - The Deaf Institute* Sat. Mar. 05 - Newcastle, UK - Bobiks* Sun. Mar. 06 - Glasgow, UK - The Hug & Pint* Tue. Mar. 08 - London, UK - The Lexington * Thur. Mar. 10 - Paris, FR - Pop Up Du Label* Wed. Mar. 16 - Sun. Mar. 20 - Austin, TX - SXSW Music Festival Sat. Apr. 23 - London, UK - DIY Alive Mon. May 23 - London, UK - The Lexington Thur. Sep. 01 - Sun. Sep. 04 - Dorset, UK - End of the Road Festival